As per reports from PTI, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is reportedly against supporting Najam Sethi’s proposed hybrid model for hosting the Asia Cup 2023. According to the model, four preliminary rounds and two super four games would be held in Pakistan, while India’s matches and the final would take place in a neutral country.
BCCI Secretary and Asian Cricket Council (ACC) Chairman, Jay Shah, has made it clear during informal discussions with ACC members that the Indian board does not favor the hybrid model.
While Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan have expressed no issues playing their games in Pakistan, India’s reluctance to support the hybrid model has resulted in an impasse. The final decision on the matter will be taken during the ACC executive board meeting, which will be convened by Jay Shah.
The ACC executive body consists of 25 members, including five Test-playing nations (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Afghanistan), three with ODI and T20I status, and 17 others with only T20 status. However, putting Asia Cup’s hybrid model to a vote poses challenges, as the nations not participating in the tournament would have no stake in the decision-making process.
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Pakistan Still On Its Stance For Hosting Asia Cup At Home Amongst Hybrid Model
Logistically, the hybrid model for Asia Cup also presents challenges. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has highlighted the benefit of hosting the Asia Cup in two countries, as it would provide increased mileage for broadcasters.
However, the BCCI raises concerns about the logistical complexities, considering the possibility that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) may not be a feasible neutral venue.
“Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Afghanistan have already told the PCB that they have no issues playing their games in Pakistan. But India is not keen on supporting the hybrid model. Now, the impasse hasn’t been broken and the final decision will only be taken at the ACC executive board meeting that Jay (Shah) will have to summon,” an ACC board member said.
“There has to be a middle of the road solution as you can’t put this hybrid model to vote. I mean if there are six nations playing the event, what is the locus standi of the 19 other nations who won’t play the tournament? On what basis will they vote when they have no stake?”
Furthermore, the PCB has informed the ACC that if the Asia Cup’s Indo-Pak matches are held in Sri Lanka, they would expect to receive at least 0.5 million USD from the gate receipts. This request is due to the smaller capacities of venues like the Galle or Premadasa Stadium in comparison to Dubai.
Ultimately, the fate of the Asia Cup 2023 and the acceptance of the hybrid model will be determined by the ACC executive board, taking into account the various perspectives and logistical considerations involved.